Did you know they rehearsed the Osama Bin Laden raid in Mission Impossible-style Pakastani disguises? Did you realize that a disguise program even exists?

The following includes a brief history of the Navy SEAL Teams with bits and pieces of information you will not find elsewhere.


“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”

The SEALs trace their origins back to the Scouts and Raiders, the Navy Combat Demolition Units (NCDU), the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT), and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

The whole history can be a bit confusing because during World War II the Army and Navy both stood up several programs at once.

In their mission at Okinawa, UDT members daubed aluminum paint on their bodies as camouflage to throw off Japanese marksmen. Photographed on the fantail of a fast transport (APD), circa Spring 1945. Photographed released 31 August 1945.

The joint Army-Navy Scouts and Raiders, and for a while, there were two distinct units doing similar missions for the Navy, the NCDUs and the UDTs.

NCDUs focused on surface missions and demolitions and the UDT focused on underwater demolitions. Both units were focused on clearing beach landing obstacles for landing craft holding Marine or Army assault forces like you’ve seen in the WWII movies like Saving Private Ryan.

File:Amphibious Scouts and Raiders memorial - Arlington National Cemetery - 2011.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
Arlington National Cemetery Monument to the Scouts and Raiders of WWII.

At the beginning of this movie, you can see an NCDU fixing explosives to a large steel German beach landing obstacle.